By Liz Traison, Tirtzah
Sometimes, when I think of myself as an entrepreneur, I picture Crazy Old Maurice from the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. If you remember, he has big hair and even bigger ideas – not too unlike myself. Though it’s been years since I’ve watched the movie, the things that stand out to me are that he was an inventor, a dreamer, and that he had to fight an uphill battle to get people to take him seriously.
As a young professional, it’s easy to feel the same way. Our ideas and dreams can get lost amid the bureaucracy and “the way things are done”. As a young entrepreneur, the stakes are almost higher; the dreams are bigger, loftier, and the willingness of our communities to necessarily take us seriously can be mountainous because we’re young, because we’re inexperienced, because we don’t know how. These are the shadowy clouds that loom over us, but, if we’re willing to ride out the dip, and not let anyone keep us from dreaming big, the reward can be so much greater.
By David Tuchman, OMGWTFBIBLE
I’m glad Purim happened during this year’s Fellowship. This year, I realized Megillat Esther contains the blueprint for the perfect pitch.
The stage for Esther’s pitch is set in Chapter 4 of the Megilla named for her. That’s when she learns, through Mordechai, of Haman’s plan of genocide for all the Jews in Achasuerus’ (or Xerxes’, if you’re nasty) domain. She’d like to petition the king to change his mind but, as she tells Mordechai, “any man or woman who goes to the king’s inner court without permission--there’s just one rule--they die.” It’s pretty clear her pitch is a risky one.
Esther goes anyway. After 3 days of fasting and market research (we can only assume), she enters the king’s inner court. Without permission. Achasuerus points his golden scepter at Esther, signifying he won’t kill her. Esther invites her husband and Haman to a string of parties, the second of which is her pitch meeting. When she finally pitches, in chapter 7, Esther demonstrates an intimate knowledge of her audience and the market context.
By Rinat Levy-Cohen, Ivrit with Ivry
I was walking home after my first meeting with my Mentor, Rabbi Ed Harwitz, from the Jewish Education Project in NYC. In our meeting, we spoke about the status of Hebrew language acquisition in North America. As a leading figure in Jewish educational leadership, Rabbi Harwitz strengthened my observation that Hebrew language teaching has a lot of catching up to do.
As an Israeli who has been living in NYC since the summer of 2012, I found it surprising how so few people, if at all, are trying to align Jewish education with 21st century learning standards and how desperately Hebrew teachers are sought for.
Our conversation made me curious, and I decided to surf the net and see how many people speak Hebrew in North America. I knew that some American Jews know how to speak Hebrew but I never saw this one coming: out of approximately 5,500,000 Jews only 216,343 speak Hebrew.
That is less than 4%!!!
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.